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<span>About</span> Theatre Raleigh | Hot Summer Nights

About Theatre Raleigh | Hot Summer Nights

Bringing intimate professional theatre to Downtown Raleigh

Lauren Kennedy Brady, Producing Artistic Director

At Theatre Raleigh, she has directed such shows as DRIFT, TRUE WEST, VANITIES, THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE WOLF and more!  As an actress Lauren appeared on Broadway in SPAMALOT (Lady of the Lake), LES MISERABLES (Fantine), SIDESHOW (Daisy Hilton, original cast), SUNSET BLVD. (original cast). Off-Broadway: VANITIES (Mary/Second Stage), GOOD OL’ GIRLS.  National Tour and London: SOUTH PACIFIC (Nellie Forbush), SUNSET BLVD. (Betty Schaefer).  Favorite Original Work: THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Cathy), THE RHYTHM CLUB (Petra/Helen Hayes Award nom. for Best Lead Actress), WHITE CHRISTMAS (Judy Haines), and ZELDA (Barrymore Nomination for Best Actress/Flat Rock Playhouse/LENAPE).  Recordings:  VANITIES, SOUTH PACIFIC (Original London Cast), SUNSET BLVD, GOOD NEWS (with The London Symphony), THE PAUL SIMON ALBUM (Varese Sarabande).  Ms. Kennedy’s solo recordings are available on the PS Classics.   Visit

Chris Bernier, Technical Director 

Chris is always excited to be working with Theatre Raleigh. Chris is the full time Technical Director for the Kennedy Family Theater at Barton College. At Barton Chris designed the scenery and lighting for the world premieres of Drift and Afric’s Muse as well as designing Macbeth, Drood, Waiting for Godot and No Exit. Chris received his BFA and MFA in design from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where he was a 4-year Trustee Scholar. Thanks to his wife Delaina and children Susannah and Wesley for their love and support.

Leona Taylor, General Manager

Leona joined Theatre Raleigh as Development Director with more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She has just recently, she was moved up to the General Manager position!  Leona served as Development Officer with InterAct in Raleigh, and before that, held various fundraising positions at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina, Victory Junction Gang Camp, and WFDD Public Radio.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wake Forest University, where she also minored in music. In her free time, Leona bakes and decorates cakes, sings and volunteers with the NC Master Chorale, and tries to find time to read. She has held various leadership positions with the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh. Leona lives in Holly Springs with her husband, Shane, and their two children, William and Natalie.

Leona is excited to have an opportunity to combine her love and appreciation of the arts with her professional skills for the first time in her career.

Ann Hess, Development Director

Morgan Parpan, Education Director

Meagan Chieppor, Box Office/Casting/Social Media Manager


About Theatre Raleigh

The mission of Theatre Raleigh, Inc. is to produce work with an artistic scope that includes musical theatre, drama, comedy, concerts, theatre for young audiences, as well as the development of new theatrical projects. Theatre Raleigh, Inc. will nurture a tradition of intimate, professional live performances while enhancing, stimulating and providing opportunities to our community, thus contributing to its vitality.

Theatre Raleigh, Inc. is the umbrella institution under which the Hot Summer Nights Series, along with a planned Theatre for the Young Series and Backstage at the Kennedy Music Series, operates with the goal of providing audiences diverse programming in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.